Crikey. Time does really fly. I can’t believe it’s been three months since my last post. But don’t fret, I’ve not been idle. There’s a few stories in the blog-line for me to tell. So get comfy, and let me reveal the highs and lows of the 2016 dating life of Nat.
First up was the Michael McIntyre look-a-like. I met him on Match.com. He reeled me in with one of the best descriptions I think I’ve seen on a dating app. As most online daters will be aware, many men simply don’t bother to put any useful information about themselves on their online profiles – making striking up early banter limited to the content of photos or using the boring and simple, hi!
But Michael McIntyre look-a-like was not in this camp. He was articulate, he was interesting and most importantly he was interested. Our texts flew back and forth for a week before we arranged a date. However in the lead up to our dinner date, I began to get a bit nervous. You see – his texts started to become a tad pressured.
(He’s grey and I’m blue)…
Now don’t get me wrong, I love nothing better than someone to be interested in you before a date, that’s usually a good sign, but the problem with online dating is that you might be articulate and have good banter in texts but you might meet in real life and have zero chemistry or banter. It just happens. I began to worry that he was expecting me to be his perfect one, and that I might not meet his high expectations. You see he had previously revealed that his inbox was overflowing with 83 match requests and he had decided quite quickly that I was the most “normal” person he had met and he quickly gave me his number and wanted to get off the site.
So, with a few nerves, I headed to our restaurant date and was pleasantly surprised when we met. He looked like Michael McIntyre (not that I find Michael McIntyre particularly attractive) but there was something about the tone in his voice and the way he handled himself that made me feel calm and comfortable. He was reassuring. It also helped that he was a partner in a law-firm and had ambition and drive to become a chief executive in the next few years. (The Love Coach would be proud of this catch, I thought to myself).
His banter was top-notch, the laughs came quick and fast and it was honestly the best date I could’ve hoped for, so much so that he suggested we move on to a bar to have a few more drinks.
There, over a bottle of wine, we continued to chat and tell stories and laugh. After a few hours we decided to call it a night and we walked back to the tube station. And then it happened ….. the first date mega fail.
We were saying goodbye and he went to do the two cheek kiss goodbye and I went for the most awkward attempt at a lip kiss that was worthy of a Darwin award. There were cheeks and teeth and a headbutt to boot. I couldn’t have stuffed it up anymore if I tried. He asked if I was ok, I blushed, said yes, apologised and ran for my bus.
So over the next few days I overcame my embarrassment and got the courage to ask him out on another date. He was unable to make another date that week, but he agreed to a second date the week after, which made me a bit excited. I started thinking to myself: “This second date curse might be finally broken.”
But then a few days later, I received the following text….
Zero kisses, slightly cold, grey but straight to the point.
What the hell went wrong? I thought to myself. You agreed to a second date and now this?
I thanked him for his honesty and wished him luck, but I couldn’t help be baffled. Sure, on first meeting him I didn’t get an instant spark of attraction, but as I got to know him and the conversation flowed, I thought, this one could be a keeper. I was more than willing to go on a second or third date to see where it could go. I know loads of people who are now married who didn’t like each other the first time they met, or were friends before becoming a couple. Sparks don’t always instantly fly and let’s face it, when they do, they can end up like my date with the French man. But there was something about this one, that I was willing to keep exploring. But he clearly didn’t feel the same.
And, being a girl, I began mulling over the date. Dissecting it and working out where I’d misfired. And I came up with three lessons to take to my next lucky dates.
- Keep work and dating separate: This one was his doing. In the early introduction over dinner he discovered that I was a PR consultant and he began seeking advice from me about a contract he was re-negotiating. I should have clocked that I was potentially being client zoned, as he also explained that he had never dated anyone he worked with.
- The seating arrangements: When you get the opportunity to move to a bar for drinks after dinner, where you sit matters. Sitting at a table or seating arrangement that doesn’t allow you to either touch knees or give the occasional approving brush or stroke or an arm or hand during conversation means that you can’t show you are interested. (The Love Coach taught me this one). Basically, we had sat at the world’s biggest table with chairs that leaned back. So despite the brilliant banter, there might as well have been an ocean between us. Take the lead, pick the best seats that allow contact, and if there’s none available – stand!
- Don’t end the date with an awkward kiss: This is fairly self-explanatory. Be alert, take his lead (unless you really aren’t interested – in which case I recommend a handshake or a high-five).
Take heed, you can thank me later.